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OpenDS community manager and architect Ludo Poitou has posted a series that highlights the new features in OpenDS 2.0, which he announced on July 17.  The postings include flow diagrams, screen shots, configuration procedures, and examples: All helpful information for those involved in LDAP directory-service tasks.  Have a look.

OpenDS 2.0 Ships Blog

Posted by marinasum Jul 19, 2009
OpenDS community manager and architect Ludo Poitou has announced that OpenDS 2.0 is now available along with Sun OpenDS Standard Edition 2.0.  Among the many enhancements and features are a graphical administration panel, an administration connector, and support for binary transfers.  Ludo's announcement introduces the highlights and points to the related documentation. Many congratulations to the OpenDS team for this major milestone.
Interested in exploring the capabilities of the OpenSolaris OS? A Sun Learning Services beta program makes it really easy: You can run the OS from a browser—with no downloads or installations, for one hour at a time.  Brian Leonard's June 18 posting on the OpenSolaris group blog, The Observatory, has the details, complete with screen shots and important tidbits of information from the launch site.  Be sure to have the login credentials of your Sun online account ready. I just tried the steps and everything worked as advertised.  Have a whirl yourself?
This Friday, June 26, architects Ludo Poitou and Pat Patterson of OpenDS and OpenSSO, respectively, will present at FISL [Forum Internacional Software Livre in Portuguese for International Free Software Forum, "South America's biggest open-source conference," according to Pat], to be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  Ludo will discuss the topic of scaling identity stores with OpenDS; Pat, OpenSSO's approaches of developing open-source identity services. In addition, on Tuesday, June 23, Pat will lead a session on securing RESTful Web services with OAuth at Javali, also in Porto Alegre.  For details, see Ludo's and Pat's postings.
OpenDS community manager and architect Ludo Poitou has announced the release of OpenDS 2.0.0 Release Candidate 2.  Besides bug fixes, the release includes many new capabilities, including enhanced multimaster replication and recurring tasks.  OpenDS 2.0 will follow shortly after the testing of RC 2 is complete. Do let the OpenDS team know your take by writing one of the mailing lists or the #opends IRC.  Ludo's posting above contains the details.
LudoPoitou.pngIt's always a pleasure to visit with Ludo Poitou, community manager and architect for OpenDS, Sun's open-source project for a next-generation directory service. He's ever knowledgeable, down-to-earth, candid, and gracious. Yesterday at JavaOne, we caught a few minutes to chat about the latest of OpenDS. OpenDS 2.0 "OpenDS 2.0 is slated to be shipped in early July. That's a major, much anticipated release," Ludo beamed. "Meanwhile, Release Candidate 1 was shipped about two weeks ago, to be followed by Release Candidate 2 sometime next week. We've been running tests at a fast pace for weeks, especially on the new capabilities.  "Two main enhancements in OpenDS 2.0 are in stability and performance: "A lot of effort has gone into ensuring that the server runs reliably and steadily for long enough to enable users and customers to run OpenDS in production mode. With the right machines and the right disks in place, you'll net amazing performance from OpenDS 2.0, which is extremely easy to install and deployment-ready," Ludo added. Do watch for the announcement and download pronto! For details on Release Candidate 1, see Ludo's May 25 posting. A New Back-End "To tackle data management long term, a major OpenDS subproject in the past few months is the addition of a back-end as an optional, alternative way for storing directory data. That is, instead of a local database in OpenDS, you can adopt a remote one
I much enjoyed listening to Ben Galbraith of Mozilla expound on user-interface design at JavaOne yesterday afternoon. Not only is the title, Creating Compelling User Interfaces, eye-catching, the content is well supported by quotations from experts. The Importance of UI Galbraith started the talk with a nod to Google: "Its front page has only a simple interface [for search] and we tend to forget about the complexity underneath." Appealing UI attracts users irrespective of the underlying code. "If you have terrible code but users like your software, that's a good scenario. The opposite isn't true, however," Galbraith said, citing examples of "highly pragmatic" yet wildly successful Facebook and MySpace, thanks to their stellar UI. "Creating UI takes a ton of time-intensive work. It involves craftsmanship, that is, devotion to getting things right in creative acts," Galbraith continued. A case in point is the Firefox browser icon, which took the design engineer countless hours to refine. UI advocate Alan Cooper strongly believes that craftsmanship is measured by quality, not by speed. "Best of market trumps first to market," he once said. Separately, even though some folks believe that internal applications don't merit as much attention as external ones, Galbraith disagreed because the former definitely affect employee effectiveness. Relationship With User Expectations "UI has to do with expectations
The presentation by eBay distinguished architect Sastry Malladi at JavaOne on Tuesday afternoon illuminated the benefits, misconceptions, and deployment challenges of service-oriented architecture (SOA).  He also described how eBay tackles the issues.Definition According to Malladi, SOA is an architecture that "removes brittle, hard-wired components that inhibit change."  In their place are "shared, easy-to-use, and reusable business and application services" geared for "operational excellence."  Also, SOA is not just about technology, but also about people (ensuring that business and IT are on the same page) and processes, including life cycle and governance. A common misconception is that SOA implies new Web services and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), given their popularity.  In reality, Representational State Transfer (REST) is equally popular, says Malladi.  Plus, instead of being "an end in itself," you can build SOA with existing technologies as a means for enabling business operations. Benefits SOA offers the following benefits:
  • A loosely coupled model, easily assembled and updated for reuse and sharing
  • Modularity ("no 'Big Bang' development"), which accelerates deployment of new capabilities
  • Nonintrusiveness, that is, no need to replace existing components
  • Business agility, including support for the latest IT technologies
  • Scalability, manageability, and flexibility
  • Opportunities for higher productivity
Challenges Malladi told the audience that the challenges of deploying SOA fall into two major categories: technical and operational.  Technical issues are relatively much easier to resolve. Among the technical challenges are—
  • Debugging and tracing
  • Efficient caching of requests and sessions
  • Security and monitoring
  • Compliance with multiple computing standards
  • Support for internal and external clients with different needs
  • Quality of service and management of service-level agreements
  • Availability and scalability
  • Decomposition of existing applications and migration of legacy services
Among the operational challenges are—
  • Version control
  • Learning curve for developers
  • Effects on existing operational tools and environments
  • Pressures for timely releases
  • Governance, especially in the face of constant changes
eBay Solutions Tackling the challenges is an ongoing effort, Malladi pointed out, and eBay has the following solutions in place:
  • A lightweight and high-performance SOA platform
  • A unified testing framework
  • Decomposition of model-driven services
  • An eXtensible Access Control Markup Language (XACML)-based authentication and authorization process for security
  • A strong and flexible governance process through a service registry and repository
Specifically, the SOA framework at eBay comprises components aimed at resolving numerous operational issues.  Examples of the components are an architecture that ensures "pipeline-based high performance" and tools for working with built-in G11N, for enforcing version control, and for managing errors. Malladi suggested specifying "a finite set of service layers" along with their relationships and related rules.  For example, the eBay architecture contains four service layers: application, business, intermediate core (building blocks), and common infrastructure. Integrating tools usually makes sense.  eBay has integrated its developer tools with the Eclipse IDE, complete with thorough testing.  The deployment tools manage life cycles; the operations tools manage and monitor alerts. Governance at eBay "eBay still has a way to go yet in enforcing governance for SOA.  That's extremely important for large-scale deployments, however," Mallaid stated.  Governance monitors the following:
  • Activities that control the design, deployment, and life cycle of service providers and service consumers.  Recall that, at eBay, a service repository and a service registry serve that purpose.
  • Design time, including reviews and approvals: enforcement of consistency and layering guidelines, and dependency.  Flexibility is mandatory.
  • Runtime, including the policies for deployment, security, caching, monitoring, availability, and reconciliation between actuals and forecasts.
  • Change management for dependencies and backward compatibility.
Conclusion Malladi concluded the session by pointing out that for all its benefits, SOA presents many challenges, and that robustness requires both internal and external services.  Again, an excellent presentation with many noteworthy insights.
Java University at 2009 JavaOne was held on Sunday afternoon, May 31, and all day Monday, June 1.  Earlier today, I caught up with Joe Boulenouar, senior Java specialist at Sun, and asked him how everything went in those 1-1/2 days. "Wonderfully," Joe beamed.  "Impressive signups, enthusiastic students, active participation during class.  All extremely gratifying."  In particular, he pointed out that the attendees welcomed and appreciated the wide coverage and depth of the courses, which ranged from Java to Java EE to JavaFX, also to SOA to Web 2.0 to Web services to scripting languages, such as JRuby."Our team, Sun Learning Services, was behind the effort," Joe added.  "We've been tuning the Java University program for years, incorporating continual input from customers regarding their training needs.  A couple of behind-the-scenes heroes for the program for the past many years are Chris McDonald, our business development manager; and Karen Sutherland, our global delivery resources manager."  Joe would also like to extend special thanks to Stephen Armijo, Mikaela Benoit, Julie Bisiar, Gary Fluitt, Giselle Gollazo, Diana Gray, Kate Jones, Cheryl Rainbolt, Karen Sullivan, and Cheryl Tremblay for their many contributions to this year's Java University. "What did you hear from the audience?" I asked Joe.  "Almost in one voice, the attendees tell us that they can't learn enough of the new and emerging technologies as they relate to Java (such as JavaFX and Web 2.0 frameworks).  They look forward to more of that next year—led by experts, as ever, and ideally lasting for three or four days for more depth," he responded. Joe encourages everyone to keep actively involved in the Java developer community to share experiences and exchange ideas.  "And don't miss JavaOne, of course," Joe grinned.  "Watch out for the related spec updates.  Java is now on billions of devices and will be with us long term, no doubt about that.  More exciting developments are yet to come for Java and its related platforms.  I can't be more optimistic about the growth prospects of Java technology and look forward to continuing to be involved in its learning arena."
In recently released OpenSSO Express 7  are several impressive capabilities, including support for OpenDS Standard Edition as a repository for user profiles, authentication data, and policies.  You need perform only a few configuration steps, as detailed in a procedural article in the OpenSSO Resource Center. The article also includes several sections of reference information: troubleshooting tips, the OpenSSO features that work with various directory servers, a few policy and interface nuances that might help you determine which user data store to use.  Have a look.
In a recent posting, Sun's Ian Murdock shares his take on how operating systems affect application developers' day-to-day tasks. In the case of OpenSolaris, developers would surely welcome the opportunity to take advantage of outstanding capabilities like DTrace and ZFS if they are integrated into the tools for developing applications? OpenSolaris has won many positive reviews since its inception. My best for its continued success in the times ahead.
Sun product line manager Nick Wooler will host a free Webinar next Wednesday, May 20 on cost savings and performance enhancements delivered by directory services.  See Nick's posting for more specifics. To sign up, complete and send in a short registration form.  Near the bottom is a note that, by signing up, you'll receive the replay information.  Nice touch!
As pointed out by Sun's Pat Patterson and Daniel Raskin, OpenSSO's Fedlet won the Best Innovation Award at the recently held European Identity Conference.  The Fedlet, in Pat's words, is "a lightweight service-provider implementation of SAML [Security Assertion Markup Language] 2.0" that enables federation for both Java and .NET applications.  See more details in my March 29 posting. Pat's posting also includes an interview video, in which he talked about the well-attended OpenSSO Community Day in Munich last week and the impressive contributions of OpenSSO extensions by both Sun and non-Sun folks.  He also described the latest OpenSSO capabilities.  Sounds like everything is on a roll!  Congratulations.

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